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Office of the President

Office of the President

First Ever Cougar Homecoming Hits Big

Tueday, October 28, 2014 at 3:48pm --

We had a magnificent Homecoming Week! My sincere thanks to our terrific Logistics and Student Affairs teams for their extraordinary work on our first ever fall homecoming.  Parents Weekend was terrific, but matched by Cougar Lacrosse, Women's Soccer and Volleyball and the outdoor family movie, Finding Nemo in Woodruff Park. I was so very proud of our Club Football Team, coaches, and student-athletes for their victory at Doughboy Stadium. What a great evening. Major General Miller and his staff were so very gracious, and we had our largest attendance ever at the game. It was a grand event!

The Homecoming Parade was exceptional. This year, our Equestrian Team rode in the parade! How very proud I was of the number of floats, student participation and the great outpouring of support from the Columbus community. Mayor Tomlinson rode in the lead Mercedes, and we do so appreciate her support, attendance and advocacy.

Provost Hackett, AVP Spence Sealy, and I ran in the Cougar Madness ROTC 5K on Saturday morning. It was cold and fun. Kudos to our Cougar Battalion, Col. Feret, and cadets for a great event.

Our CSU Alumni Association dinner, dancing and fireworks in Uptown was spectacular. Dillingham Bridge was closed, and the fireworks provided a great exclamation mark on our Homecoming festivities. In all, a fantastic team effort. I am so proud of my colleagues.

USG Presidents Grace CSU's Campus

Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 7:14pm --

We have been so very fortunate to host so many terrific visitors from across the University System of Georgia (USG). Last week, the Board of Regents' Jim Hull and Sachin Shailendra spent the better part of a day on campus meeting with students, faculty and staff and touring our campuses. They were incredibly complimentary and engaged, and it was a wonderful opportunity to show off our many assets to these System leaders. Yesterday, Chancellor Hank Huckaby and Vice Chancellor Tom Daniel were on campus. They, too, visited with individual groups of students, faculty, staff, and our Cabinet. The meetings were interactive, filled with questions, and the Chancellor was very responsive to the various meetings. Last night, Lauren and I hosted the USG presidents and guests at our home for dinner. Today and tomorrow, the presidents are meeting at our university. I am so proud of our logistics, UITS, Cunningham Center and transportation teams for their support of this important meeting. We are honored to serve as host, and you should be very proud of the many kind things these colleagues are saying about Columbus State University.

Garbology Author Challenges Students to Go Green

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 6:53pm --

Pulitzer Prize winning author Ed Humes was on campus this week sharing his insights on the trash and recycling challenges we face. The author of Garbology, Mr. Humes related that at death we would not only occupy our own grave site, but over our lives have generated enough garbage to fill up another 1100 grave sites, a daunting picture. He excited our students and challenged them to be greener. Our own Byron Harris directs our campus green initiatives and works closely with a faculty/staff/student committee deeply devoted to environmental stewardship.  Mr. Humes was invited by our colleague Dr. Terry Irvin, who has done an exceptional job over the past six years launching and managing our First Year Experience (FYE) program. Upon his return to California, Mr. Humes shared the following letter with Dr. Irvin:

Dear Terry,

You are so welcome. I loved visiting Columbus State, loved the great questions posed by the Enviro Sciences students, and the engaged audience at the lecture. President Mescon’s introduction was so gracious and thoughtful. Being part of such an event doesn’t even feel like work to me: it’s energizing and rewarding. Plus your hospitality was the best!

I will forward the PP slides to Steven, happily. And please let me know how I can support your faculty in their use of Garbology in class. I am at your (pun intended) disposal.

With Warmest Regards,


Riding the Zip Line

Monday, September 15, 2014 at 6:33pm --

Last Friday, I had the wonderful opportunity (though I was decidedly overdressed) to ride the new zip line going from GA to AL over the whitewater course on the Chattahoochee River. What a treat! Dan Gilbert and his extraordinary team at Whitewater Express have done a great job with the zip line as well as with the two high ropes courses on the Alabama shore and the second zip line ride, running parallel to the river on the Alabama side. When you're done, you are transported back to the Whitewater Express outfitter store via power boat. Bundle these activities with one or more rafting rides down the Chattahoochee and you have an incredible set of experiences. What a wonderful opportunity for Columbus State University students and what a grand addition to our RiverPark Campus.

The Importance of Greek Life at Columbus State University

Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 6:46pm --

Over the years, many universities have run hot and cold in their treatment and support of Greek Life, fraternities and sororities. Thanks to the great work by our Division of Student Affairs and my colleague Britney Kelly, director of Greek Life, Columbus State University is seeing a surge of student interest in this wonderful co-curricular option. This week, some brothers from the Eta Theta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, including Reuben Riley who is also in the GA National Guard, came to visit me in my office. Some of these brothers now live in the designated CSU Greek Housing on Maryland Circle, but all want to know how they can help advocate for CSU. It was a great visit and to meet majors in business, psychology and criminal justice gives me great confidence in our collective future.

Key Elementary Stuffed with School Supplies

Monday, September 8, 2014 at 12:48am --

What a pleasure it was for me to join Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, Gina Sheeks, Columbus State's VP for Student Affairs, Chip Reese, Dean of Students and AVP, and Dana Larkin, Asst. Dean of Students, at Key Elementary School on Friday.

Special thanks to Rachel Green, Vice President-Scholastic Affairs in the Columbus State University Student Government Association. Rachel is a hyper-involved student leader majoring in early childhood education in the Servant Leadership Program; she is a mentor at Big Brothers Big Sisters and active in the AKA Sorority. Rachel galvanized a wonderful group of students who managed to secure over 400 book bags, stuff each with assorted school supplies and distribute them to every student and teacher at Key Elementary for the start of this school year. 

What a great morning it was! I am so very proud of these students and this important outreach into the community. This is Servant Leadership at work. This is what makes Columbus State University such a very special place.

Spirit of Suffrage Movement Captured During Women's Equality Day

Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 5:18pm --

My sincere thanks to Dr. Larry Dooley, Chair of Columbus State University's Department of Theatre, and six great theater majors (Natalie Brock, Allison Bennett, Brandon Mitchell, Rylee Bunton, Tate LeClair, and Devin Shaw) for their wonderful performance during Women's Equality Day at Ft. Benning. Commanding General Miller and his team orchestrated a fantastic event, keynoted by City of Columbus Deputy City Manager Lisa Goodwin. The students captured the spirit of the suffrage movement in period costume and set a wonderful tone for the event. What a fitting follow-up to great speeches by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (author of Lean In) and Spanx founder Sara Blakely at our Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum. Today's event was one more reflection of Columbus State University reaching into this wonderful community.

Students and Faculty Shine During CSU's Day of Service

Monday, August 25, 2014 at 12:07am --

I am so very proud of our Columbus State University family for the fantastic turnout at the 6th Annual Day of Service. Led by colleague Anne Vogler Brown (enthusiastically joined by her husband, Kevin), more than 500 students, faculty and staff worked across the region at 22 non-profits in Georgia and Alabama reinforcing Columbus State's core value of true servant leadership.

There was a wonderful turnout from our student-athletes in softball, men's and women's basketball, volleyball, golf, baseball, cheer, our Mascot Cody, and their coaches. Also, our VP for Business and Finance, Tom Helton; our VP for Student Affairs, Gina Sheeks; our AVP for University Relations, John Lester; our incoming Managing Director of the Cunningham Center, Ed Helton; our Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Todd Reeser; and many, many others participated in the event.

My wife Lauren and I joined Columbus State's Director of Financial Literacy, Ginny Rae Turner, and her husband Brad at a battered women's shelter in Phenix City, Alabama. The center must open by October, and our students worked wonders preparing rooms for occupancy.

Later in the day, we all joined in a terrific cookout and shared stories of the day's adventures and fellowship. Special thanks to Potiphar Alexander, Director of Transportation, for assuring all ended up in the right place and eventually back on campus. This event has matured greatly over the years, and the involvement by our entire campus community is reflective of a caring culture.

Smooth Move on CSU Move-In Day

Tueday, August 12, 2014 at 1:56pm --

Kudos to Residential Life staff led by Jonathan Lucia, Steve Morse and team in Logistics, and so many others for a smooth early a.m. start to move-in day at our stunning River Park housing complex. It was nice to see Dean Richard and Tammy Baxter volunteering, and Professors John Finley and Kim Gill (right, with Cody), our faculty-in-residence on hand as well. 

This can be a stressful day for students and their families, but no institution handles this better than Columbus State University.

Preparing for Accreditation Visit Helps Us Focus on Progress

Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 2:36pm -- Our regional accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, recently held its summer meeting. I was proud to join a team of Columbus State University colleagues as we prepare for our 10-year maintenance of accreditation visit.

Additionally, and as importantly, the university team is working across the institution in the development of our new Quality Enhancement Plan. The QEP, linked to our mission and strategic plan serves to galvanize the focus of our institution and give us an overriding theme that will thread through thousands of courses, student activities, staff engagement and campus life for the foreseeable future.

While I have the opportunity to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees of SACSCOC, I learn a great deal from these meetings. I do so appreciate the work of our team and look forward to reporting on our progress over the next two years.

Trombone Concert Brings Top Artists to Columbus State Stage

Monday, June 30, 2014 at 3:25pm -- Saturday night, Lauren and I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Southeast Trombone Symposium Professors Choir under the direction of Professor Bradley Palmer from CSU's Schwob School of Music.

Trombone faculty from across the country were joined by artists from the New York Philharmonic, Utah Symphony, Atlanta Symphony and National Symphony, treating an enthusiastic audience to some wonderful music.

Pieces ranging from Classical Gas to the world premiere of Awakening (Anthony Barfield) reflected once again the pivotal role great faculty and great facilities can play in building reputation. We were honored to have these faculty and many of their students at our RiverPark campus and look forward to hosting the group again in the future.

CSU Connects with Students at Atlanta-Area Receptions

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 9:05pm -- Over the last two nights, a great team from CSU  recruiters, financial aid and other student affairs professionals, as well as our crack logistics experts — helped deliver two very special open houses: one in Alpharetta and the other in south Fulton County for admitted and prospective students.

I was proud of our colleagues, who work so hard in communicating our "first choice" agenda with prospective students and their parents. Special thanks go to Richard Holmes, a CSU Foundation trustee and distinguished alumus, for attending the south Fulton reception. The event reflected the progress and so many great initiatives taking place at our university.

Commencement Offers Fitting Farewell to 2013-2014

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 9:02pm --

Students hear from governor at commencement.
It was wonderful to see the Columbus Civic Center packed Monday night for our spring 2014 commencement.

And it was the greatest of honors to have Gov. Nathan Deal deliver the commencement address. We also recognized Phil Tomlinson, chairman and CEO of TSYS, with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Recognizing our graduates, from those receiving associate degrees to those donning doctoral hoods, is always an incredibly special and moving event — indeed, my favorite night of the year. We hope to see many of these graduates back on campus in the years to come.

Celebration Highlights CSU's Servant Leadership Commitment

Tueday, May 6, 2014 at 9:19pm -- I had the great opportunity today to join Mr. Bill Turner, Mr. John Turner and Dr. Ron King at a luncheon with close to 200 students, community agencies and friends of our renowned Servant Leadership Program.

Dr. Stuart Rayfield, CSU's Frank Brown Distinguished Chair in Servant Leadership, emceed this marvelous event, where graduates of our Servant Leadership senior class shared with the audience their insights and observations related to experiences in the program. Of special note was this year's partnership with The Literacy Alliance and the creation of a CSU chapter of the International Justice Mission to combat human trafficking.

Kudos go to these exceptional young men and women and their passion for service. I was so very proud of their individual and group accomplishments. They truly epitomize all that is so very impressive with today's Columbus State University graduates.

Sophomore Year Experience Helps Students Succeed

Friday, April 18, 2014 at 3:01pm -- Our Sophomore Year Experience at Columbus State University is off and running.

Dubbed, Y2@CSU. The eight Y2 Ambassadors participated in more than 20 events that entail academics, leadership, professional development and student activities. They helped rebrand and expand the Y2 program and made it a safe haven for sophomores.

Some of the unique successes of the students in this year's program include:

  • Shakiyla Ellis developed her leadership skills and sharpened her communication skills, which has opened doors for many leadership opportunities.
  • Nadiya Johnson improved her public speaking skills and is a great mentor to freshmen students.
  • Ambrionna Dallas, working with staff, organized a full week of Financial Success programs that allowed the Columbus State University community to become more fiscally conservative.
  • Victoria Owens has refined her ability to form lasting relationships with her peers and has done an outstanding job in planning for her future endeavors both professionally and personally.
  • Dawn Grier polished her ability to network with faculty/staff and develop her communication skills as well.
  • Brittany Reeves learned the value of building relationships and boosting team morale.
  • Briana Zeigler developed necessary tools to balance her time as a very busy student.
  • Chaiya Thomas’ willingness to pursue all aspects of the Y2 program is an indicator of her dedication as a student to Columbus State University.
My thanks go to our staff colleague, Ginny Rae Turner, who also directs our Financial Literacy Program in CSU's Center for Career Development for her leadership.

Leesburg Unites with CSU to Empower Educators

Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 8:17pm --

What a great day it was in southwest Georgia, Leesburg in Lee County to be specific, as Columbus State University's College of Education and Health Professions signed an agreement with the Lee County School District to deliver classes in our Ed.D. program there. Dean Buckner, program director Dr. Michael Richardson and a group of dedicated faculty worked so very hard on this agreement, and we fully believe this will be the first of many to come. Kudos to the Leesburg community, school board and legislators for their wonderful endorsement and support.

Cougarthon Gets Students Moving for American Cancer Society

Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 7:48pm -- I am so very proud of student co-chairs Ravhen Maddox, Akilah Anderson and Kameron Griffin and their team of 16 colleagues for the launch of our first-ever Cougarthon dance event to support the American Cancer Society. This year's inaugural event, in our Student Recreation Center, honored CSU colleague Rex Whiddon and his wife, Lynne. Joined by hundreds of students, the six-hour event was a great social and service success. Our Center for Career Development colleague, volunteerism director Anne Brown provided exceptional staff support. We're so proud of CSU's enormous commitment to servant leadership.

Saturday Gives Columbus State a Chance to Truly Shine

Monday, April 14, 2014 at 1:24pm -- Saturday was a magnificent day on the Columbus State University campus. We started at 9 a.m. with a Discovery Day designed for admitted freshmen and transfer students.

The energy was palpable. Students were joined by family members for an immersion into campus life, course selection and an incredibly energetic introduction to CSU. My thanks to Amy Clines and her entire recruiting team for orchestrating a truly powerful day.

At 1 p.m., Lauren and I hosted Columbus State's Peach Belt champion women's basketball team, coaches Jonathan Norton and Quacy Timmons, and their children. Our student-athletes are exceptional. This is a wonderful group of women who had an exceptionally wonderful season ending in the NCAA regionals. Lauren and I were so very proud of them and honored to host the celebration at our home.

Saturday night at RiverCenter, our Schwob School of Music held its annual Kaleidoscope concert. This unbelievable event features every student in every studio in the Schwob school. For 70 minutes, the audience was mesmerized by the talent of our students and the leadership of our faculty.

It's amazing how, all in a single day, anyone can see why Columbus State is a First Choice university.

One CSU Events Demonstrate Commitment to Sustainability

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 7:17pm -- I am so very proud of our students, faculty and staff for planning another round of One CSU events on April 18-26. So many have worked diligently to support a week-long commitment to sustainability. As a university, we are committed to reducing the university's ecological footprint through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions campus wide, to enhancing university environmental stewardship efforts and to fostering the concepts of sustainability and environmental ethics in the curriculum. Please go to the One CSU sustainability page and join us in some of these incredibly important events, activities and programs.

CSU Shines with Day at the Capitol

Monday, March 10, 2014 at 6:15pm --

My sincere thanks go to the great team that represented our university in such a wonderful manner at the state Capitol in Atlanta on Monday. The exhibits -- Oxbow Meadows, Coca-Cola Space Science Center, ROTC, Google Glass and others -- were all well-attended, and Steve Morse and the CSU Logistics team outdid themselves again. Great meetings with so many legislators and senators. Our delegation was terrific, and we appreciated the fact that Chancellor Huckaby and Dr. Steve Wrigley stopped by as well. A special shout-out is also due to the 25 students who joined us -- during Spring Break!

CSU's 4th President

Timothy Mescon became Columbus State University's fourth president on Aug. 1, 2008. Previously, he was dean of the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University. He is the co-author of four books and also has published more than 200 articles and case studies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, an MBA from Southern Methodist University and a B.A. from Tulane University. Mescon was the founding dean of the Perdue School of Business at Salisbury (Md.) University and also has served on the faculties of Arizona State University and the University of Miami. He's served as a visiting lecturer at universities in England, China and Israel.

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